The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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Unusual facts and figures

Earliest painted portrait in the collection?

King Henry VII
by Unknown Netherlandish artist
NPG 416

First portrait acquired?

(acquired in 1856)

William Shakespeare
associated with John Taylor
circa 1610

Tallest portrait?

{nearly 4 metres tall, 208 times taller than the smallest portrait}

Statesmen of World War I
by Sir James Guthrie
NPG 2463

Biggest portrait?

(nearly 5.3 metres wide, 52,000 times larger than the smallest)

Smallest portrait?

(barely larger than a thumbnail)

Henrietta Anne, Duchess of Orleans
copy attributed to Jean Petitot, possibly after Pierre Mignard
17th century?
NPG 1606

Thinnest portrait?

(nearly 4 times taller than it is wide)

Rudyard Kipling
by Harry Furniss
NPG 3478

Squattest portrait?

(nearly 4 times wider than it is high)

King Edward VI
attributed to William Scrots
NPG 1299

Portrait with most identified sitters?

(nearly 400 figures, 320 of which have been identified)

Sitter represented most?

(Queen Elizabeth II, represented in 326 Primary Collection portraits)

Queen Elizabeth II
by Eve Arnold
NPG P520

Do, draw and make!

Do, draw and make!

From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!

Get Creative

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

Get learning